West Virginia Local Option Reform Expands DtC Shipping Availability

Alex Koral | November 5, 2020

A recent law change in West Virginia means that licensed direct-to-consumer (DtC) wine shippers are now able to reach more of the state’s residents.

In July, HB 4524 came into effect in West Virginia. Among the many state beverage alcohol provisions affected by this bill was the state’s “local option” rules. These rules allow local communities to directly determine whether to permit the sale of alcohol and in what capacity. In layman’s terms, that is, these rules permit a county or city in West Virginia to vote to be “dry” and prohibit the sale of alcohol, or  “wet” and not impose local restrictions on the sale of alcohol.

When selling into West Virginia, DtC shippers have to abide by the rules of the state, including prohibiting sales to any community in the state that has elected to adopt a local option and prohibit all sales of alcohol, including by delivery.

Under HB 4524, the state amended its local option rules to open the entire state to sales of alcohol, unless a local community conducted another election that renewed their “dry” status.

Following the implementation of HB 4524, only two communities in West Virginia elected to remain “dry.” These are the town of Brandonville, in Preston County, and the entirety of Calhoun County. However, many counties and cities that had previously been “dry” now permit the sale of alcoholic beverages. 

Along with our partners at Wine Institute, we have determined that this new permission to sell also applies to licensed DtC wine shippers, meaning they can now sell to many more residents of the Mountain State.

This should be good news for the people of West Virginia and for DtC wine shippers as many more people will be able to take advantage of the expanded offerings and safe delivery options that DtC wine shipping provides.

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To learn more about state DtC shipping availability, see our state-by-state DtC wine shipping rules map.